'Lawful discrimination' is intolerable


In response to John Murillo's Feb. 16 letter "Military man speaks out on ROTC policy," I would like to explain a few things. John states that "the military must discriminate," that America has benefited from this 'lawful discrimination' by having our freedoms protected by the best-trained, best-equipped and strongest military throughout the world." Let's analyze this statement. 1) Having the "best-trained" soldiers is a function of the military's training program itself, not an individual's sexuality. 2) The United States military being the "best-equipped" is due to billions of dollars being spent annually on research and development and again sexuality has no part in this. 3) Does sexuality have any effect on our military being the "strongest"? Mr. Murillo obviously doesn't understand discrimination because if he believes that being gay excludes one from being the "strongest," then he is basing his opinion on untrue stereotypes of gays. There are untrue stereotypes surrounding Hispanics, African Americans, Christians and others, John. Maybe you've heard some. So sexuality has no effect on the "strength" of the military. And if you're thinking right now that it reduces morale, your problem of not being able to serve side-by-side with someone different from yourself is due to your own ignorance and you are the originator of the morale problem, not someone else.

Mr. Murillo further asserts that "sexuality is a choice of behavior." If it is, so what? He is right in stating that sexuality has nothing to do with race, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability. It is similar to these, though, in that it also has nothing to do with being qualified to take "this brave pledge by each soldier that guaranteed the First Amendment and civil rights." If you try to stand on the worn-out reasoning that race is inborn and one has no choice in the matter whereas a homosexual chooses to be such, I might point out that no one is born with a religion but chooses one. The question of whether or not homosexuality is a "behavior" or an inborn trait is not the issue. The issue is whether or not being gay has any effect on military service. I invite John to offer a basis for the argument, not his own moral opinion of homosexuality.

My argument is with the military's policy. John, if you believe this policy is correct, then you better have more support for your argument than the "law was last debated and guaranteed unchanged continuation by President Bill Clinton and Congress." If you think anything is true and just on the basis that the president and Congress think so, perhaps you should change your major from engineering to political science.

Finally, if Mr. Murillo is trying to assert that one has the right to be free of discrimination only if it is directed at something that cannot be "challenged" such as a race or national origin, then he obviously doesn't understand the liberty that he is enlisted to protect.

Michael Clifton-Harter

Finance Senior

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